Decorative map of the Holy Land, published by JB Homann in Nuremberg.
One of Homann's earliest maps, it reflects the engraving style and detail which is indicative of the elder Homann's work early in his career as a map engraver and publisher. The Holy Land is divided into 12 tribes and the cartography organized according to biblical information. The large inset map in the lower right corner shows the wanderings of Moses in the desert on a yearly basis for 4 years, enveloped by a stunning cartouche of Moses and his various minions.
The larger cartouche shows the scene of Moses receiving the 2 tablets of the law from God, the burning bush and the Israelites encampment at the base of the mountain, along with scenes from Heaven including several winged angels.
Johann Baptist Homann (1663-1724) was a mapmaker who founded the famous Homann Heirs publishing company. He lived his entire life in Bavaria, particularly in Nuremberg. Initially, Johann trained to become a priest before converting to Protestantism and working as a notary.
In 1702, Johann founded a publishing house that specialized in engravings. The firm flourished, becoming the leading map publisher in Germany and an important entity in the European map market. In 1715, Johann was named Imperial Geographer to the Holy Roman Empire by Charles VI and made a member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences. Most importantly for his business, his reputation and contacts gained him imperial printing privileges which protected his publications and recommended him to customers. Johann is best known for this Grosser Atlas ueber die ganze Welt, or the Grand Atlas of the World, published in 1716.
After Johann died in 1724, the business passed to his son, Christoph (1703-1730). Upon Christoph’s early death, the company passed to subsequent heirs, with the name of the company changing to Homann Erben, or Homann Heirs. The firm continued in business until 1848.